10 Best Leading Actors Of The 2010s Rated

Becoming a leading male actor takes a great deal of commitment, hard work, and dedication. Here are some of the key factors that are required to become a successful male actor:

  1. Talent: To become a leading male actor, you must have a natural talent for acting. This includes the ability to interpret scripts, embody characters, and deliver convincing performances.
  2. Determination and resilience: The entertainment industry is highly competitive and demanding. Therefore, you must have the determination and resilience to keep pursuing your goals despite setbacks and rejections.
  3. Professionalism: A successful male actor must be professional and easy to work with. This means showing up on time, being prepared, and maintaining a positive attitude on set.
  4. Networking: Networking is important in the entertainment industry, and male actors must be able to build relationships with directors, producers, agents, and other actors.
  5. Selecting the right project: Selecting the right project is crucial for a male actor’s career. It’s important to choose roles that challenge you as an actor and help you grow as an artist, while also considering the potential impact on your career.
  6. Training and education: Many successful male actors have had formal training in acting, either through a drama school or through private lessons. Ongoing education and training can help you develop your craft and keep your skills up to date.

Whilst some actors ruled a particular decade. Men like Jack Nicholson ruled the 1970s, while others like Will Smith took the 90s by storm. The 2010s also had its fair share of performers whose acclaimed performances and commitment to their craft turned them into modern cinematic legends.

Mixing critical acclaim with reliable box-office results, these actors dominated the decade, releasing at least a film nearly every year and becoming a constant presence in the pop culture lexicon. Thanks to their significant and instantly recognizable contributions, their names have become synonymous with Hollywood as a whole.

10 Dwayne Johnson

What Dwayne Johnson lacks in range, he makes up for in charisma. The guy is a movie star, one of the few to come out of the new millennium. The wrestler-turned-actor has starred in numerous movies, many of which have become among the highest-grossing of the 2010s.

Throughout the decade, Johnson starred in hits like San Andreas, Rampage, and Skyscraper, voiced Maui in the Disney juggernaut Moana, and still found the time to include big franchises like Fast & Furious and Jumanji. Sure, Johnson isn’t particularly known for his versatility, but that seems intentional. He is happy staying in his lane and considering he starred in box-office success after box-office success, it’s hard to argue against his logic.

9 Idris Elba

Why doesn’t Idris Elba have an Oscar nomination? An actor of his caliber should have at least one by now, considering he’s been a consistent and reliable presence for over two decades. Moreover, the 2010s saw him graduate to leading man status after years of overlooked work.

Elba delivered incredible performances throughout the decade in films like Prometheus, Molly’s Game, and Hobbs & Shaw. He impressed audiences with his voice work in hits like Zootopia and The Jungle Book and wowed critics with his performances in Beasts of No Nation and Luther. Elba is a bonafide star, and his Oscar win is coming; it’s just bizarre that it’s taken so long.

8 Michael B. Jordan

Ever since his breakthrough performance in Ryan Coogler‘s Fruitvale Station, Michael B. Jordan has been delivering one impressive performance after the other. 2015 was a banner year for Jordan, who starred in Coogler’s follow-up, Creed, a project that solidified his status as a leading man and box-office draw.

Despite setbacks like Fantastic Four, Jordan bounced back with record-breaking hits like Black Panther and critical darlings like Just Mercy and Creed II. The future looks promising for Jordan, with an entire decade ahead of him to continue cementing his spot as one of Hollywood’s most promising talents.

7 Robert Downey Jr.

While the Marvel Cinematic Universe did wonders for many people’s careers, none favored more from its overwhelming success than Robert Downey Jr. The actor was already an Oscar nominee by the time he starred in Iron Man, but his career received a huge boost thanks to the Marvel machine.

The 2010s saw Downey Jr. becoming one of the highest-grossing actors in Hollywood history, thanks to his continuous work as Tony Stark. Films like Iron Man 3, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame cemented his box-office legacy. Downey Jr. didn’t star in many films outside his Marvel stint, but now that he’s free, his career seems to be going in new and more interesting directions.

6 Tom Cruise

It might be an overstatement to say Tom Cruise is the last movie star, but the actor’s name is synonymous with the film industry. Cruise has been a box-office draw for over forty years, defining the cinematic landscape of the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. The 2010s saw him go all-in on his action-man era, putting most actors half his age to shame.

Among Cruise’s numerous successes in the 2010s were three critically-acclaimed and commercially-successful entries to his ongoing Mission: Impossibleseries. Films like Edge of Tomorrow and Oblivion confirmed his influence on the sci-fi genre, even as other projects like Jack Reacher and The Mummy disappointed.

5 Michael Fassbender

Actors making prestige films mixed with superhero fare had the best time during the 2010s, and Michael Fassbender is the perfect example. The Irish actor played Magneto in Fox’s X-Men prequels, delivering a layered and fascinating take on the iconic antihero that rivals Ian McKellen‘s portrayal.

Jointly, Fassbender delivered gripping, awe-inspiring work in films like Shame, 12 Years a Slave, and Steve Jobs, earning critical acclaim and Oscar nominations for the latter two. Fassbender’s career during the decade’s latter half involved more divisive films, but he remained a compelling presence on the screen.

4 Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling became a movie star in the 2010s. Already an Oscar nominee, Gosling showed his funny side in films like Crazy Stupid Love and The Nice Guys, displayed his musical talents in the Oscar-darling and commercial hit La La Land, and flexed his dramatic muscles with projects like The Place Beyond the Pines and First Man.

Moreover, Gosling became an action lead thanks to films like Drive and Blade Runner 2049. The decade saw him earning his second Oscar nomination for La La Land and cementing his place as one of Hollywood’s best leading men who could carry indie films and blockbusters alike.

3 Jake Gyllenhaal

Like Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal was already a familiar and celebrated actor, but the 2010s turned him into a bonafide star. Already an Oscar nominee for 2005’s Brokeback Mountain, Gyllenhaal mixed and matched his projects throughout the decade, delivering some of his most interesting work.

Gyllenhaal did everything in the 2010s. Romantic comedies like Love and Other Drugs, action movies like End of Watch and Southpaw, zany stuff like Velvet Buzzsaw and Okja and even a detour to the superhero genre with Spider-Man: Far From Home. Gyllenhaal also starred in acclaimed movies like Nocturnal Animals and delivered career-best work in Tony Gilroy’s Nightcrawler.

2 Denzel Washington

The term “Hollywood royalty” applies only to a few actors, and Denzel Washington is one. The two-time Oscar winner has a revered career spanning over four decades, standing out among his contemporaries for his intense, versatile performances in a wide range of films.

Washington dominated the 2010s thanks to his roles in action vehicles like The Equalizer franchise and thrillers like Unstoppable and Safe House. He continued to receive acclaim for his performances, earning Oscar nominations for his work in Flight, Fences, and Roman J. Israel Esquire.

1 Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio worked sporadically throughout the 2010s. When he did, he sure made a splash at the box office and with critics, cementing his place as one of Hollywood’s most beloved and celebrated actors.

The actor began the decade starring in one the biggest hits of his career, Inception. He then attracted critical acclaim for his performances in 2012’s Django Unchained and 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street, earning an Oscar nod for the latter. DiCaprio finally won the Oscar for his work in 2015’s The Revenant, taking a four-year break from acting before returning with 2019’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which earned him his sixth Oscar nomination.

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Adam Regan
Adam Regan
Deputy Editor

Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.

Email Adam@MarkMeets.com

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